2nd Amendment victory: Appeals court restores right to carry in California

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News January 7, 2024

A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel has blocked a new California law, SB-2, that bans people from carrying firearms in most public places.

A three-judge panel on Saturday dissolved a temporary hold on a lower court injunction blocking the law. The hold was issued by a different 9th Circuit panel and had allowed the law to go into effect on Jan. 1.

Saturday’s decision keeps in place a Dec. 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney blocking the law. Carney said that it violates the Second Amendment and that gun rights groups would likely prevail in proving it unconstitutional.

The stay had allowed the Democrats in power in California to implement dozens of expansive “gun-free” zones at the beginning of the year, including one on every piece of private property unless the owner explicitly authorized gun carry. Critics said the cumulative effect of the new “sensitive places” restrictions in the law added up to an effective ban on gun carry.

“The right to carry in California was unconstitutionally eliminated for almost a week,” Kostas Moros, a lawyer for plaintiffs California Pistol and Rifle Association, told The Reload. “We are relieved the status quo has been restored and Californians with CCW permits, who are among the most law-abiding people there are, can resume carrying as they have for years.”

Carney found SB2 “unconstitutionally deprive” permitholders “of their constitutional right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense.” He further accused California of intentionally ignoring and undermining the Supreme Court’s decision in 2022’s New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, which established carrying a gun for self-defense is protected by the Constitution.

“SB2’s coverage is sweeping, repugnant to the Second Amendment, and openly defiant of the Supreme Court,” Carney, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote. “The law designates twenty-six categories of places, such as hospitals, public transportation, places that sell liquor for on-site consumption, playgrounds, parks, casinos, stadiums, libraries, amusement parks, zoos, places of worship, and banks, as ‘sensitive places’ where concealed carry permitholders cannot carry their handguns. SB2 turns nearly every public place in California into a ‘sensitive place,’ effectively abolishing the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding and exceptionally qualified citizens to be armed and to defend themselves in public.”

The panel could still reconsider part of the stay before arguments in the case are actually heard. Those arguments are currently scheduled to occur in April.

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